A model has taken the first step toward filing a federal discrimination lawsuit against Hyundai, claiming the company fired her from a lucrative gig at the New York International Auto Show because she had her period.
Rachel Rickert, 27, alleges in her complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that she soiled her Hyundai uniform during the spring event in New York City because she had to work for three hours without a bathroom break, during which time she could have changed her tampon. Instead of being able to simply change her clothes, Rickert alleges, her former representative Erika Seifred informed her that the client wanted her to take the night off rather than continuing to work. The next day, Rickert claims she was let go.
“I was told by Erika on the morning of April 15th that I was being released from the show because Hyundai had gotten word about my menstrual cycle and did not want me representing them anymore,” Rickert told Fox News.
”The actions taken against me were disheartening due to me being a woman experiencing a natural cycle of life,” she added, explaining why she decided to take legal action.
Rickert’s attorney, Mark Shirian, told Fox News he thinks Rickert’s situation is reflective of present gender inequality in the workplace.
“It is an unfortunate truth that many working women already face gender equality challenges in the workplace, like unequal pay and fewer promotions,” Shirian said. “However, discrimination of any kind, especially because of a menstrual cycle, cannot happen and should not be tolerated.”
Shirian said Rickert has not yet been paid for any of her work. She said she expected to make $5,000.
The complaint was filed in Manhattan, New York, against Hyundai and Seifred’s management company, Experiential Talent, which hired Rickert for the job.
In a statement, Hyundai said it hadn’t yet received Rickert’s EEOC filing, but that it takes “any complaint like this seriously and will respond appropriately once we have a chance to investigate the merits of the claim.”
Fox News reached out to the EEOC and Experiential Talent,but did not receive a response as of Wednesday afternoon.
Fox News.com Reporter and FOX411 host Diana Falzone covers celebrity news and interviews some of today's top celebrities and newsmakers. You can follow her on Twitter @dianafalzone.